Saturday, September 15, 2007


FLASH POINT (Hong Kong/China; 2007)

D: Wilson Yip Wai-shun

Re-teaming of the director and star of SPL and DRAGON TIGER GATE is an extra lean, meaty police revenge thriller that treads familiar ground but builds to a protracted action climax that's sure to please fans of mixed martial arts, a school of increasing interest for producer and action director Donnie Yen, not to mention one of the most popular and profitable sports in the world at the time of the film's release. Story has venemous Vietnamese brothers (Ray Lui, Collin Chou and Xing Yu) hardballing their way into territory controlled by Hong Kong gang boss Ben Lam and his compatriots. The near-mortal wounding of Lam convinces the other three to seek justice from Organized Crime & Triad Bureau detective Donnie Yen, a one-man tornado to wants these guys disposed of in the worst way. Yen apparently finds his badge a little restrictive and his deep cover operative (Louis Koo) increasingly at risk of exposure. When gang honcho Ray Lui (in a solid comeback performance) is finally captured, the brothers start eliminating witnesses and eventually sniff out the mole in their midst. Koo survives their attack, but they kidnap his girlfriend to ensure that his memory fails at the trial, and when Lui walks free, Yen's snatches the guy up for delivery to the big showdown. In time, bodies are pushed beyond the limits of known human endurance, just as they have been in Hong Kong action cinema for decades, and Yip's camera swoops and glides to capture the elegant ferocity of these duels without a flurry of smash-cut editing constructing the fights for him. What Hong Kong cinema needs is more movies like this to balance the current lean toward romantic comedies and show that the former colony's film industry hasn't lost touch with the martial artistry and screen action design that have placed it on the international stage

Ray Lui

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